Alejandra Vázquez
Environmental Director
Grupo Bimbo

Leading by Example in Integral Sustainability Strategies

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 17:33

Global Mexican conglomerates are grabbing the opportunities presented in the renewable energy market. While implementation strategies can be complex given their global footprint, these companies can benefit greatly from their energy transition and set an example for smaller companies in energy self-supply. “We will continue focusing on the scalability of our sustainability initiatives launched in 2007 as our primary objective,” says Alejandra Vázquez, Environmental Director of Grupo Bimbo. “One example of that was the 90MW wind farm Piedra Larga, located in Unión Hidalgo, Oaxaca,”

While the company’s electric consumption reached 75 percent from wind power in 280 of its real estate assets, including facilities, sales centers and buildings, the food industry giant is doubling efforts to consolidate its initiatives across the board to make the most not only of renewables but also of energy, water and waste-efficiency practices. “Grupo Bimbo is implementing zero waste water discharge and zero waste to landfill, promoting recycling initiatives by reducing the usage of raw materials and waste by 12 percent and recycling more than 90 percent of waste,” Vázquez says.

Grupo Bimbo’s ecological sales centers are not only powered by Piedra Larga’s wind farm but also supplied by an electric vehicle fleet, as well as many other initiatives to reduce its environmental footprint. “We are optimizing the logistics routes connecting our ecological sales centers for our 350 electric vehicles,” says Vázquez. To further optimize the company’s electricity consumption through renewable energy, Grupo Bimbo is set to add solar power into its mix. “For 2018, we want to make sure our ecological sales centers are also solar powered. Four are already benefiting from solar panel installations,” Vázquez says. “Our electric vehicle fleet is also set to grow as we increase the number of ecological sales centers nationwide.”

Bimbo is betting on an elaborate and strategic initiative mix to make the most of the new opportunities in the renewable energy market. “We are not focused on one aspect in particular, such as wind. Grupo Bimbo is crafting the best strategy and best mix for resource optimization,” Vázquez explains.

At all its locations, the group follows its permanent road map. Reducing water consumption, waste management, developing a greener value chain and reducing the company’s carbon footprint are the four main axes, which undergo a cyclical process in which international standards and best practices are implemented and integrated into Grupo Bimbo’s Environmental Management System. This system designs and tests pilot projects and new technologies and, as tests are improved and proven successful, they are integrated into the company’s day-to-day operations.

For the foreseeable future, Grupo Bimbo has a clear set of objectives in relation to its sustainability targets. “We are focusing all our efforts into increasing the number of our ecological sales centers and designing the perfect combination of renewable technologies to continue implementing integral initiatives across our company’s value chain,” says Vázquez.

Grupo Bimbo's Permanent Road Map